Budget 2021: Halwa Ceremony to be held tomorrow; Nirmala Sitharaman, Anurag Thakur to be present

The customary halwa ceremony, which marks the process of printing documents for the Union Budget, will be hosted by the Finance Ministry on Saturday (tomorrow) ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Secretaries of Finance Ministry and other officials of the ministry will be present at the ceremony, which will be held at North Block.

Every year, the government follows an annual tradition of hosting a halwa ceremony, a few days before the Budget is presented. The making of halwa marks the official kick-off of events.

After the ceremony, the employees who are a part of the budget-making process will move to the basement of North Block for around 10 days, officials said.

"They will only emerge once the Finance Minister presents the Budget in Parliament. This is done to prevent any leaks before the annual Budget is presented," one of the officials in the ministry told ANI.

The ceremony also recognises and lauds the efforts of every staff who have been a part of the budget-making process.

This time there will be no printing of the Budget due to COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be no printing of economic survey which is going to the tabled in the Parliament on January 29.

On Tuesday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the first part of the Budget Session will start on January 29 and continue till February 15, and the second part of the session will be from March 8 to April 8.

Birla said Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm and Lok Sabha from 4 pm to 9 pm with Zero Hour and Question Hour.

Members of Parliament have been requested to undergo an RT-PCR test against COVID-19 ahead of the session, he said.

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